In a follow-on report to our recent one involving the use of pagers in healthcare, Trend Micro Forward-Looking Research (FTR) team also analyzed the use of pager communications in industrial environments. This report will look at how and why these environments still utilize pagers and the potential security concerns due to this unencrypted channel.
The research looks at a number of areas in which pagers are still used like Industrial Control Systems that are used in all sorts of industries from Energy, Manufacturing, and Transportation. We also delve into Business Automation Systems which manages many aspects of a buildings operations and how pagers are used in many of the alerts generated within these systems.
The researchers discuss some real-world examples of what pager communications were found during their in-the-field research of a number of industries including power generation (Nuclear Power Plants), Chemical plants, and even Semiconductor companies.
From Passive Intelligence gathering to spoofing pages to possible attack scenarios, this report is intended to be a wakeup call to any organizations still using pagers for communications and includes recommendations for how to tighten up the security of this communication channel.